State of the SFMC January 2012
Greetings to all members of the SFMC
I wish to welcome all marines to a whole New Year - a year in which we will later celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the SFMC as an organization. With this report, I wish to present a slightly different communication rather the usual "State of " report, simply because I would like us to take a quick note of reflection to begin this new and important year.
No doubt there will be much written over the months ahead on the subject of our 30th Anniversary, but for myself, it is simply excellent to consider that this organization has been running for three decades and still goes from strength to strength.
It is also very worthy to consider all that has gone before and that in those thirty years, the amount of effort, time, energy, passion and commitment that has been expressed and implemented by many, many marines, is quite simply worthy of our absolute and utmost admiration.
This brings me to the work that is being done by the GS to review and revise the SFMC manuals – most especially the Marine Forces Manual (MFM) – and in doing so, we have been taking the time to read, review and to absorb the sheer volume of work that has gone before, in the compilation of the material in these wonderful resources we have on hand.
Sure, these have been built on over many years and have been contributed to by a huge array of people in that time (far too many to mention here) – but the point being made is that we can use these manuals as a means of reflection of the efforts and outstanding achievements that many marines in our past history actually went to, into the establishment to what is undoubtedly one of the best fan organizations ever created.
Our manuals have provided for, and most certainly reflect, the base platforms of our culture and the efforts and professional elements included within these are quite simply remarkable. I am sure we do not take all this rich resource for granted and I suggest that next time you have occasion to peruse any of the SFMC manuals, take a moment to consider the work and time that will have gone into the development of material contained therein
And so these manuals are a solid and visual refelction that the SFMC has only withstood the test of time due to the commitment of a lot of dedicated people. Certainly, there have been “issues” and a few problems from time to time – but it is very much doubted that anyone could point a finger at the SFMC and say “well they are lucky to still be around…” We stand almost outside the Star Trek fan world as sometimes something of enigma (“there were no marines in Star Trek…") but we have always stood here tall and proud.
I have no records to indicate the number of marines that existed when this all first began, but the fact that our membership over the last few years has equated to anywhere between 20 and 25% of total STARFLEET International membership, shows that many have come to recognize the importance of our place here and that becoming a marine means a whole lot more than just “playing at soldiers”.
We have a rich and robust culture that carries with it a proud element of pomp and circumstance that is the absolute envy of other fan organizations. We have strong and sensible policies and a doctrine that supports every marine in passing pride of membership. We have a camaraderie that once understood and acknowledged, brings acceptance that “once you are a marine you are always a marine..” We have an organization that is filled with men and women of all ages who take enormous pride in their uniform dress and that they can wear the SFMC Delta and Anchor to proclaim their membership and to display the personal honors earned in genuine effort to the Corps; to STARFLEET International, or to their local community.
And it is all this dedication of purpose; this sense of great pride in membership; and the friendly, passionate manner by which we express ourselves as marines to other people, that has enabled us to survive and more importantly to grow, over the last thirty years. There may have been no marines easily evident in the Star Trek movies or TV series but it is highly doubted that anyone can today truly question our right to ownership in that the SFMC certainly belongs in the world in which we all come to play and work in.
I for one, am certainly looking forward to another year passing where I can be associated with the STARFLEET Marine Corps.
Semper Fi Marines !
(Footnote - at time of writing this, it is absoltuely fantastic to report that the number of SFMC marines stands just over 25% of total STARFLEET International membership. I believe that this is the highest percentage of total membership ever recorded and if true, is certainly a most worthy way to begin the year!)
Brigadier General, SFMC
Commandant, STARFLEET Marine Corps